The Joplin Youth Council will continue political education and voter registration efforts this winter, a project selected for the council's inaugural year.

The council will conduct a work session Jan. 27 to prepare exhibits for a booth where council members will promote voting in February and March at Joplin's Empire Market.

Although the last day to register to vote in spring elections is Feb. 12, the council will work beyond that date to provide information about why people should vote and how to register to vote.

The group was created by the Joplin City Council to give high school students firsthand knowledge of how local government works and have input into city decisions. It is patterned after an existing program offered in other cities as a project of the National League of Cities.

City Council member Melodee Colbert-Kean advocated for the city to participate in the National League of Cities program. She worked with former Joplin High School Principal Shane Hopper to launch the program.

Youth council members are Spencer Vreeland, Jake Saunders, Julian Garrett, Cora Wesley, Rosalynn Jordan and Casey Bonds, representing Joplin High School; Riley Peterson and Kambrea Manning of College Heights Christian School; Audrey Wheeler of McAuley Catholic High School; and Dillon Dodge and Jane Min of Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School.

The council is open to juniors and seniors. Sophomore students will be recruited this year to join the panel when it convenes next year. Students who first serve as juniors will have the option of returning for a second year as seniors.

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